MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Once More Back Into The MGM Mire

Someone is out there selling the idea that neither Lionsgate nor Summit would be paying itself for marketing and distribution under a pseudo-merger agreement with MGM.
Bullshit.
There are reasons for MGM debt holders to prefer this group or that.
Spyglass’ last 10 released films were; Get Him to the Greek, Leap Year, Invictus, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Star Trek, Four Christmases, Flash of Genius, Ghost Town, The Love Guru, Wanted
Lionsgate’s last 10 release were; Killers, Kick-Ass, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?, From Paris with Love, The Spy Next Door, Daybreakers, Brothers, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, Saw VI, More Than a Game
Sumit’s last 10 releases were; Letters to Juliet , Furry Vengeance, Remember Me, The Ghost Writer, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Astro Boy, Sorority Row, Bandslam, The Hurt Locker, The Brothers Bloom
Which business do you see as the one that can rebuilt the studio’s image enough to make it a more attractive library target?
Spyglass distributing through Sony or Paramount – pretty much the range of likely distributors for them – means that MGM/Spyglass product can have a distributor that is in the business of releasing movies full-time. It also means a distributor that has shown the ability to take a film gross over $100 million on a consistent basis. This is no small thing.
Neither Summit nor Lionsgate will be absorbed by MGM. Neither is likely to keep the current production, distribution, or marketing teams in place. So in terms of distribution and marketing, the question is, do you want Sony or Paramount selling your movies or do you want Summit or Lionsgate doing that job?
MGM will not be any more than a glorified production company no matter who they choose. No one – and no one on the horizon – wants to make the studio whole. There is too much baggage… as I have been saying forever.
MGM remains a good play for Summit because it would give them a place to put their Twilight cash and they can keep building. It’s fine for Lionsgate, so long as they don’t take on funding responsibilities and get an outside fund that allows them to make more movies, spread out their expenses, and own a piece of The Lion in the end, if things work out. Spyglass is also there for a piece of the library for pretty much doing what they have been doing for a long while.
My bet is on Spyglass with Sony distributing and, in the end, perhaps finding a way back to the MGM library itself.
Finally, despite ongoing efforts to spin Peter Jackson into some sort of leaf in the wind regarding The Hobbit… he’s always been there… he’s not fully committed… it’s not just about money… and as everyone who knows what’s going on with this situation – except for the person claiming a scoop – knows, MGM is the central problem that sent Guillermo packing. The Hobbit will happen, with Peter directing or not. But if it doesn’t happen this fall, it probably won’t happen until 2013 or 2014. Jackson does not want to leave WB hanging in the breeze for their investment to date… but there is only so far they can push the start date. Jackson has been very clear about wanting to make the previously mentioned release dates.
Yes, the legal work for whomever MGM settles on will take months. But there is a point at which the Hobbit/Bond machine can move forward if serious committments are made. Those films are the carrot. Now someone needs to figure out how to use the stick without sticking themselves in the eye, because if Hobbit does push to 2014, the entire effort to move the studio forward could fall apart and debt holders could be forced to face the harsh reality of the company’s current value.

3 Responses to “Once More Back Into The MGM Mire”

  1. Silvio Dante says:

    “My bet is on Summit with Sony distributing and, in the end, perhaps finding a way back to the MGM library itself.” – Confused, why would Summit distrib through Sony? Wouldn’t they want the fees? Do you mean Spyglass?

  2. David Poland says:

    I did, Silvio.
    Geez.
    Putting the baby down and finishing up a piece at the same time is a bad, bad idea. Learning…
    Correcting.

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    Don’t try to watch a screener with the baby, either. Especially if it’s a horror movie. Trust me: Been there, done that, bad move.

Leave a Reply

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé